“Why Do You Love Horror Movies?”

Because I grew up in a house that was built before the Civil War.  It creaked and settled and knocked around at night.  There was a high probability someone had either died in the house or was buried in the yard somewhere.

Because I am a low-level sensation seeker, a scaredy-cat adrenaline junkie, who will never sky dive or snort coke but occasionally wants to indulge in a little emotional masochism.  Horror movies are designed purely to make you feel something, to shock or provoke an immediate reaction.

Because for some reason my parents allowed me to watch Poltergeist when I was a very small child and it became my favorite movie.  My babysitter even brought the tape over one night to watch with me because I loved it so much.

Because my parents left the light on in the hallway outside my bedroom, mistakenly thinking it would give me comfort, but really it cast shadows on my mantel that looked like blood trickling down.

Because I grew up with these books:

Because I grew up in a small town full of decaying antebellum homes, old cemeteries and Spanish moss.

Because not all horror is scary or disturbing.  Sometimes the movies can reach dizzying and glorious heights of absurdity and entertainment like few other genres.

Because my town was the home of local storytelling legend Kathryn Tucker Windham, who wrote ghost stories.  When you visited her house, there was one rocking chair you weren’t allowed to sit in, because that’s where Jeffery sat (her pet ghost).

Because I grew up in a remote, wooded countryside with no nearby neighbors and I constantly planned my escape route in case of a home invasion.

Because there was an old well under the back porch of my childhood home.

Because the heightened tension and emotions found in horror films can be a good platform for talking about the Big Issues or for getting at something deeper about human nature.

Because nothing can deliver a good WTF moment like a terrible, terrible horror movie.

Because, when you grow up in such close proximity to nature, you realize how small you are and how easily it can all go wrong, like the time a snake crawled up the side of the house and swallowed all the baby birds from their window nest where I’d been watching them grow.  Or the time we lost electricity for a week after a snowstorm and had to keep our water supply in a bathtub and cook our food over fire.  Or all the times I listened to mice and birds dying inside the walls after they fell from the attic.

Because of attics.

Because I owe my sexual awakening to Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas in Interview with the Vampire.

Because horror is a genre and every genre has conventions and tropes that create limitations for writers to work around.  There’s a lot of derivative crap in the horror genre, but it’s all the more fascinating to see a filmmaker wring new life out of the same old stories.

Because we all know there may come a time when The Bad Thing happens to us, no matter what form it might take, and we want to inoculate ourselves, to prepare ourselves for the worst that life can throw at us.

Because laughing away the jitters is one of the best feelings in the world.  Hey guys, we made it.  We survived.

Why do you love horror movies?

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About Candice

I like horror movies, poetry, and weird things. ATX

One response to ““Why Do You Love Horror Movies?””

  1. Marie says :

    LOVE THIS. but don’t love horror movies 🙂

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